Prime Organizing Practices You’ll Actually Use

The prime locations in your house need to be top priority for organization.  Keep these in shape and it will make your life more organized, less cluttered and much easier.

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What you use daily should have the prime location – everywhere.  If you’re going to look at something every day, make sure you use it every day.  You have plenty of storage places that are less visible for non-essential or less used items, make sure you store everything accordingly to how often it is used. We keep our main meal preparation ingredients in the kitchen and all of our extra food storage items are stored the pantry.

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We Saved $1500+! Change Overspending into Overachieving

A while ago, I wrote about our family overspending on or discretionary budget.  We needed to save $475 to get back on track.  And I’m happy to report that we’ve done it – 6 months later.  In addition to eliminating our overspending, we reduced our discretionary spending budget each month by $200 (working hard to pay off those student loans, which we did in July 2013).  In total, we saved $1500 from our discretionary in less than a year! It wasn’t easy, but it was worth it–you can get your spending back on track by using these smart solutions to help you make important, lasting decisions.

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Use what you already own. Since I’d been price matching for more than a year, we made a plan to use up the food we’d already purchased and only buy essentials to get through some of these “lean” months.  We were able to eat a lot of the food we’d already owned and it helped us make room for more items. This allowed us to find the really good deals on the items we wanted and increased our monthly grocery savings dramatically.  I also tried experiments to see what could save us money in the future.  Frozen, thawed milk? I would only recommend using it for baking (not drinking).  But our homemade bread froze and baked beautifully.

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Save 50% on your monthly grocery bill

Last year, I decided to take charge of our family discretionary spending.  I was tired of being stressed  with trying to figure out how to purchase things we needed and not break the bank.  I’m happy to report that for the past 18 months, I’ve been using my realistic strategies and have cut our “Grocery & Household Items” budget category spending by 50%!  Since 2005, we’d averaged about $8600 on these items.  This year, we’re trending to only spend $4200 in this category–and this is with a family of 4 (including two growing boys), the biggest our family has ever been! Here are the simple strategies we’ve been using to make this happen:

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Family Information Center that works for you

You and your family have a lot of information to keep organized.  Between activities, appointments and tasks, managing your family information can seem like a full-time job.  Keep your family organized by creating, updating or enhancing your family information center into the active storage area you’ve always needed.  With these easy strategies, you’ll be able to keep everything together and just where you need it.

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Find a visible location that works for you.  We keep all of our calendars, newsletters, coupons, notes and items in our Family Information Center located in our kitchen.  Since we’re in this room so much, it makes sense to have this important information stored together right where we see it every day.  Find a place in your house that you can keep all family information and supplies together and educate everyone else to do the same.

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Learn to Live with Less: My 365 Experiment

We moved into our new house one year ago today. It was only two blocks away from our old house, so the move was easy. But we learned something as we were moving all of our things. It seemed like we were moving lots of junk. Now we’ve always been pretty organized, but we’d been keeping and organizing our masses. And it wasn’t working.

As we were loading our things into our new house, my husband and I came to the same realization: “What if we just had less?” It sounded like a great idea, but we needed to figure out what that really meant. Here’s what I’ve learned in our year of living with less, follow these simple strategies and you can do the same.

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Organized Home: Fantastic Freezers

Your freezer may remind you of the Siberian Tundra–a barren wasteland that you’re lucky to survive.  But it doesn’t have to be. You freezer (and deep freeze) can help save you tons of money if you keep them well-organized, in a system that works for you. 

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Make All Items Easily Visible.

Our deep freeze (and freezer, and all food storage areas) are usually packed with food because we buy what is on sale and buy in bulk.  But all of our items are easily accessible.  We keep bins of items at the back and smaller items toward the front.  Everything is stored so it’s easy to see, making it very easy to find.

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Great Groceries: Storage Systems That Work

You’ve spent time Preparing to Price Match, shopping & Price Match saving in the store and now you’re home. What to do? Make sure your front-end hard work and savings are maintained as you’re storing and using the items in your home. By using these simple strategies, you’ll make great use of your groceries, optimize food usage and find smart savings success.

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Keep Item Categories Together In The Store.

As I’m placing the items for the cashier, I take time to sort the items together by category. I try to keep my breads, frozen foods, fresh foods, canned items, meats and cheeses together. And it usually saves me time in the end, because I’m able (for the most part) to come home and the items are usually grouped by category in the bags too. Try this as you’re shopping and purchasing your items, it should make it easier for you as well.

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Sort Items Into Areas When You Get Home.

Once I’m home and unloading the groceries, at first, I simply divide them into piles based on where they need to go. Frozen items are grouped on the counter by the freezer. Boxed/Packaged items are placed in front of our pantry and cleaning supplies stay on the stairs. All of these items are easier to put away when I can do the whole category at one time. When you start by grouping your items, it makes putting everything away much faster.

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